Internalizing Behaviors and Social Skills of Young Students With ASD

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 4,6
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Session 8: Psychological Services for Students With Autism

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. identify evidence-based strategies for promoting social skills and positive peer and teacher relationships for students with ASD.
  2. describe the associations between social skills and internalizing behaviors of students with ASD with and without intellectual disability (ID).
  3. assess social skills and internalizing behaviors of students with ASD.


This 1.5-year longitudinal study analyzed teacher-reported social skills and internalizing behaviors for 177 students with ASD ages 4–7. Cross-lagged panel analyses indicated an association between earlier internalizing behaviors and later social skills; lower internalizing problems predicted greater social skills from one school year to the next. An interaction with intellectual disability (ID) was observed; for children with both ASD and ID, social skills predicted change in internalizing behaviors. Evidence-based recommendations for practice will be discussed.



Brittany A. Pereira, University of Massachusetts Boston
Gianna M. Famolare, University of Massachusetts Boston
Narmene Hamsho, University of Massachusetts Boston


Annisha Susilo, Jan Blacher, Abbey Eisenhower


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